ariad: (ff7 // i want to be forgiven)
This installment of "Fred Plays Final Fantasy VII" takes us from Nibelheim to the end of Disc One! Which is quite a lot. Two more party members, a date, a betrayal, Cloud losing it a few times, one less party member, tears, and a lot of foreshadowing. Screencaps are from Caves of Narshe.

spoilers for whole game )

I'm moving through this game so quickly. Now it's 3 AM, and I didn't do any research for either of my two research papers today, but I just really want to start Disc Two. Square, why must you always ruin me. ♥
ariad: (Default)
When I mention donating blood, I usually get winces and remarks about how scary that sounds. As a three-time blood donor, I want to emphasize that donating blood is not scary at all. I believe the statistic they give is that one donation can help three people, so for a little inconvenience, it's really a worthwhile thing to do.

To help people get over their fears of blood donation, I am writing this guide based on my experience today.

Nota bene: I have only donated through American Red Cross, but I imagine other major blood donation organizers (UCSF, etc.) have similar standards of comfort and loveliness. Just make sure an organization is reputable and talk to people who have donated through them before you donate yourself. Common sense, etc.

The Process, Aftermath, Advice )
ariad: (ff7 // i want to be forgiven)
These entries will be essentially be love letters to one of the most perfect games of all time. (Watch as a third of the sentences begin with "I love".) I'm actually at Gongaga already, but with the rate at which I have been gushing to friends and Tumblr and TextEdit files, I figured I should actually collect my ~FEELINGS!!!~ somewhere. This entry will be especially long because it includes everything up through Cosmo Canyon. Screenshots from Caves of Narshe except where otherwise noted.

SPOILERS FOR EVERYTHING (meaning FF7, AC, and CC) )

Thus endeth the first installment of Fred Plays Final Fantasy VII. Tune in hopefully next week, provided I am not too busy with my two research papers oh god oh god.
ariad: (Default)
I like analyzing writing techniques. It seems to me that the best way to learn about the importance of things like theme and structure are to examine their use in the stories you admire and to figure out how they do or do not contribute to the meaning of the work or to the audience's experience. Today, I looked at uses of common thematic model in television. It was more for my own study than anything else, but I know some of you enjoy this type of metatextual discussion, and I'd like to hear other people's analyses if anyone has any. Spoilers for Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The model: The theme of the work is tied to the basic concept of the protagonist. Both the plot and the protagonist's development are influenced by the theme, and the motivations of the primary antagonist run counter to the theme.

Example 1: Angel )

Example 2: Buffy the Vampire Slayer )

Example 3: RTD Era Doctor Who )

Example 4: Avatar: The Last Airbender )
ariad: (btvs // go hand in hand)
I have seen a range of reactions to yesterday's Doctor Who, but I'm beginning to wonder if what I want from TV shows is very different from what other people want from TV shows because I have yet to see a reaction that matches my own, which is that

THIS. EPISODE. IS WHAT I'VE WANTED. FOR SO. LONG!

Warning: Spoilers beneath the cut.

'Offer a child a suitcase full of sweets and they'll take it.' )
ariad: (Default)
Having just finished Doctor Who Series 6 Part 1 last night (HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT), I am about to start Torchwood: Miracle Day! My hopes and expectations are many, but if only a handful of them are fulfilled, I will be so pleased.

THIS LIST. Spoilers through 'House of the Dead' )

All right, guys! Time to dive in! Ooooh, I hope this series will be nearly as excellent as Children of Earth! No, what am I saying, that's nigh impossible. I hope this series will be nearly as excellent as Doctor Who!

edit: THAT FIRST EPISODE WAS SO MUCH MORE AND SO MUCH BETTER THAN I EXPECTED WHAT WHAT. AAAAAAAAAH. ♥
ariad: (Default)
Can we take a moment to discuss the third Torchwood: The Lost Files radio play, "The House of the Dead"?

Spoilers )
ariad: (Default)
To be more accurate, I am bored in lecture most days. But on one particular day, I decided to kick that boredom by having a one-sided chat to an absent [livejournal.com profile] ipsius (something I do often) and ended up writing a Doctor Who/Final Fantasy VII crossover.

I was just being silly, but perhaps some of you will enjoy it.

Spoilers for Crisis Core (sort of) and "The End of Time."

"MY HOPES. MY DREAMS. THEY'RE YOURS NOW."
"ROSE TYLER."
wait can we do a doctor who/ff7 crossover?
"MY HOPES. MY DREAMS. MY COMPANION. MY TARDIS. MY SCREWDRIVER."
"THEY'RE YOURS NOW."
"TEN."
"BUT NOT MY CLOTHING."
"OR MY ACCENT."


Five years ago, Nine and Ten were buddies. )
ariad: (Default)
I have so many feelings about this series oh my god aaaaah I cannot contain myself it was brilliant so brilliant but GADS. I watched it with my father who has never seen Torchwood and now intends to watch the whole series. :) (Or, at least, he did before I told him he must watch all of Doctor Who, too.) Thank you to the Torchwood site on Hypnoweb for episode scripts.

THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND SPOILERS. )
ariad: (Default)
Radio plays are a very interesting medium. Listening to them on my iPod feels like I am having a story streamed directly into my brain because nobody around me knows what is making me laugh or snort or weep into a dish towel, and I like that I can listen to them as I'm walking to work or washing the dishes.

Re: Torchwood Radio Plays )
ariad: (Default)
I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN CONTINUE WATCHING THIS SHOW AFTER THAT. I MEAN I HAVE TO BECAUSE CHILDREN OF EARTH IS GREAT, I HEAR, AND THE PLOT SPOILERS I'VE SEEN ARE TOO INTRIGUING FOR ME NOT TO CONTINUE, BUT WHYYYYYY. WHYYYYYYYYY.


MAJOR Spoilers. I MEAN SERIOUSLY. )
ariad: (Default)
I am not much of an icon maker, but I am an icon epicure. I spend hours shifting through icon journals and culling the ones I've already downloaded. It seems a shame not to share the beauties I have found. (Note: Some of these are linked to the maker's personal journal instead of their icon journal.)

This post is heavily biased in favor of video game icons. This is not just because I like video games; I like a lot of things. IMO, video game graphics just look better on icons. They're smooth and perfect and color well.

Teaser:


9 icon makers, 27 icons )

more icons! )

This has been a post about 100x100 pixel Photoshopped pieces of stolen artwork. Who are your favorite icon makers, and which are your favorite icons?
ariad: (Default)
Books and Book-Like Things
Shadow Magic. By Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett. I started this in March and finished it a few weeks ago. I was Not Impressed. Although I loved the prequel, Havemercy, I found this one drab in comparison. I didn't particularly like any of the four narrators, and although Caius Greylace teetered on the edge of interestingness, his unusual personality felt forced. Another of the novel's shortcomings was how little action was in it. That is to be expected about a novel that takes place in the aftermath of war, when the tense relationships are all diplomacy and court intrigue and running away because your brother is plotting to have you killed, which was not as exciting as it sounds, but I feel like nothing significant happened in the novel. They ate rice and dumplings. Some insults were exchanged. There was some commotion in a theater and an attempted assassination. I hope the third book, Dragon Soul, will be more thrilling than this one.

Harry Potter Books One, Three, Four, and Five. By J. K. Rowling. This is my third time reading through most of the series, and like the first time, I am in love with Remus Lupin. (The second time, I was most interested in Sirius, our resident Peter Pan.) This readthrough had be gushing love out my pores for all knowledgeable and competent characters, though, in particular Severus Snape, Ginny Weasley, Fred and George Weasley, Minerva McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore, and Harry Freakin' Potter. (I think I am too used to Hermione being knowledgeable and competent, and Harry is too used to Hermione being knowledgeable and competent, for me to be especially impressed.) I had tears, tears, many tears at the end of Order of the Phoenix. I didn't even mind Harry's constant state of capslock, such was my sympathy for him. I am starting to get annoyed by the overuse of ellipses; some days, it seems like every single page has at least two paragraphs that end in ellipses and at least five that contain them. The story is remarkably well-organized, structured, and plotted, though, so I forgive all flaws in the prose.

Shoebox Project AAAAAAH. AAAAAAAAH. AUGH. SO MANY TEARS BUT SO MUCH JOY. ♥

Television
Doctor Who. I'm five or six episodes into the first season, and I am pretty impressed. I rather like the Doctor, and I think the plant lady in the second episode may be one of my favorite one-shot characters, despite my inability to remember her name. (I like people with shiny skin. The Oracles from Angel are also on my list.) The show does seem a bit overdramatic, though. Even taking into account that the Doctor is a time traveller, does the fate of the world need to be threatened in every single episode?

LOST. I've taken a hiatus in favor of watching Doctor Who, but I think I like LOST more. I had just finished episode 13. Episode 15 is written by one of my favorite TV writers, Drew Goddard, so I will definitely be returning to the show eventually.

"YERAUGH!"

May. 28th, 2011 07:42 pm
ariad: (Default)
1. I have been continuing to reread, rather voraciously, the Shoebox Project, the Harry Potter fan fiction of epic proportions which convinced me to read the book series in the first place. I had forgotten what teases [livejournal.com profile] ladyjaida and [livejournal.com profile] dorkorific could be and read several more chapters last night than I had intended because I thought that I might be able to reach some resolution to all the tension that has arisen between Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. I did not, but I did decide that "Part Seventeen: November, 1976. One Esteemed Person's Birthday, a Photo-Album, Thirty-five Notes of Various Import, a Banner, A Benjy, and a Raven" is my most favorite, narrowly beating out "Part Eleven: May, 1976. One Birthday and Too Much Gillyweed." (Marauders have the best birthdays.) The timing could not be better because in my rereading of the Harry Potter books, I have just come across the single mention of Benjy Fenwick, who makes an appearance in Part Seventeen. A later part which I have yet to reread may beat out the aforementioned two; I remember many tears. I enjoy tears and anger and long, beautiful monologues about memory and happiness and friendship. Here, have two excerpts from different parts, neither of which contain any of those things:

The strength of Remus J. Lupin is an incalculable thing. )

&

Not afraid to be out after dark, are you? )

edit: Wait, what am I talking about? "Part Five: Losing Moony. Four photographs, many notes, and part of a journal." is my favorite. How did I forget? I think that first excerpt is from "Losing Moony." Good lord. /edit

2. Speaking of rereading the Harry Potter books, I SHOULD BE REREADING THESE ALL THE TIME AND NEVER STOP. I am not so fond of the first book, and I completely skipped the second book this time around, but Prisoner of Azkaban has fully rekindled my love for Remus Lupin, Goblet of Fire had me clawing at my face in blissful agony, and Order of the Phoenix is TEARING ME APART, LISA. I love them all. Lupin. Sirius. Molly Weasley. Ron. Ginny. Fred and George. Dumbledore. Hedwig. Others, I am sure. They'll have their turn.

3. I need to learn to use better positive adjectives than "excellent," "wonderful," "lovely," "beautiful," and "magnificent." Not only do I overuse them, but I ought to steer clear of such general adjectives, anyway.
ariad: (ffx // anima)
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER (NUMBERED BECAUSE I CAN'T COUNT OTHERWISE)

TOP TEN LOCATIONS I WANT TO VISIT BUT CAN'T

1. Thremedon (Havemercy by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennet)
THREMEDON. THE THREE MAIDENS. MIRANDA, CHARLOTTE, MOLLYEDGE, FUCK, I WANT TO GO. HIGH, IMPOSSIBLE MAGICIANS' TOWERS, THE BASQUIAT, THE ESAR'S PALACE, OUR LADY OF A THOUSAND FANS. THE AIRMAN. CAN I GO? STEP LIVELY, WATCH WHERE YOUR BOOTS GO. MAYBE STRAY INTO MOLLYEDGE A LITTLE. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. KEEP YOUR NOSE WHERE IT BELONGS. LOOK. WONDER. YEARN. I WANT TO GO. FUCKING THREMEDON. WHY'D YOU HAVE TO BE FICTIONAL. FUCK.

2. Hogwarts & Diagon Alley (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling)
WHO DOES NOT WANT TO GO TO HOGWARTS? RAISE YOUR HAND. IF YOU RAISED YOUR HAND, WELL, YOU ARE WRONG BECAUSE EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HOGWARTS. I AM STILL WAITING FOR MY ACCEPTANCE LETTER YOU ASSWIPES HOW DO YOUR STUPID OWLS LOSE SOMETHING LIKE THAT IN THE MAIL? BUT MOSTLY, I WANT TO GO TO DIAGON ALLEY BECAUSE I LIKE TO SHOP AND I WANT TO HAVE THE BITCHINGEST SCHOOLBOOKS UP IN THERE.

3. 18th Century Boston
FUCKING FUCK, BOSTON. YOU ARE WHERE IT ALL HAPPENS. OLD STATE HOUSE. DESTRUCTION OF THE TEA. THE BRITISH HOLING THEMSELVES IN. POLITICS AND WAR. UNICORNS. I WANT TO GO SO BAD. ~HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE~ AND ALL.

4. San Francisco
IS A BOSS. FUCKING INCEPTION IN REAL LIFE. OH WHAT I GO THERE ALL THE TIME? OOPS.

5. Lindblum (Final Fantasy IX)
BUSINESS DISTRICT. THEATRE DISTRICT. SOME OTHER DISTRICTS. PEOPLE WHO PLAY CARDS WITH YOU IN THE STREET AND WHO WRITE RIDICULOUS DIALOGUE FOR THEIR PLAYS, LIKE, "No cloud, no squall shall hinder us!" THAT IS POETRY RIGHT THERE. FUCKING SHAKESPEARE MOVE OUT OF THE WAY BECAUSE TANTALUS IS MY BAY BAY. ALSO, THAT HUNTING THING. THAT WAS PRETTY TIGHT.

6. Disneyworld
DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD. DISNEY WORLD.

7. Tidus' Zanarkand (Final Fantasy X)
WATCH BLITZBALL. CHEER AND CHEER. MAKE THROAT HOARSE. THEN PARTY. EVEN AT NIGHT? ZANARKAND NEVER SLEEPS!

8. Mt. Selene (mine)
THE MOMENT I DECIDED THEY HAVE GIANT FUCKING LIBRARIES ON THE SCALE OF TRAJAN'S BATHS, IT WAS OVER. CHESS. POOLS. CAFE. BIGASS SOFAS. ARCHERY CLASSES, FUCK YEAH.

9. Rome of the Roman Empire
I WANT TO VISIT A FUCKING BATH HOUSE AND SWIM NAKED IN ALL THAT OSTENTATIOUS GLORY OF MARBLE AND GOLD AND COLORED STONE.

10. The Dollhouse (Dollhouse)
NOT THAT I WOULD WANT TO WORK THERE BUT IT IS LIKE A PERFECT SPA WITH PERFECT MASSAGES AND PERFECT YOGA AND PERFECT BONSAI TREE TRIMMING CLASSES AND PERFECTLY CRUNCHY LETTUCE.

I PINE. SO MUCH.
ariad: (Default)
I am quite proud of what Sims 2 creations I have to show off today, although the latter half still requires a lot of work before I will be satisfied. These creations are inspired by the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Fire Nation Royal Palace

Lot Size: 5x6, I think.
Lot Price: ~210,000
Custom Content: A lot. Most importantly, carved walls and floors by Yuxi, Persianesque and Amelia living room sets by Adele, and Moroccan furniture by Dh. I may replace some furniture with more Asian-style ones by Avenida soon.

This is only a loose adaptation, using a default house as a base. It's also much darker and more forbidding than the original, with black or bronze metallic stone in place of the beige marbles and light woods. I may redo all the walls and floors when Zuko becomes an adult. (OH MY GOD I GET TO HOUSE OZAI IN A PRISON I'M SO EXCITED. And solve the mystery of wherever Ursa went, hmmm?)

In-game shots and references )


The Sozin Household

I think I may have overdone this one, but honestly, the only things that kept me from going back another generation was concerns about household size and whether I would be able to make my favorite generation look the way I wanted.

Only a few screenshots )

That's all for now. I can't wait until the weekend, hahaha. I'm also working on a spruced-up version of simgirl9089's Traverse Town District 1 at which the Sims can go shopping for new digs.
ariad: (Default)
Comics



Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. Finished this a few weeks ago. As a whole, the season was entertaining, but I cared so little. It's a shame; great and terrible things are happening to my favorite characters and I just don't give a shit. I think the art style may be to blame because Georges Jeanty's lineart just isn't very emotive. However, read it for the army of tiny vampire teddy bears screaming, "EAT THEIR #%&@ING OVARIES!"

More: 'My glimmering hope is so large it eclipses the sun and the moon!' )
ariad: (Default)
(co-written with [livejournal.com profile] ipsius)

Chapter One. William the Bard's First Wife.

William the Bard's first wife was a beautiful noblewoman named Isabella Threemiddlenames. She came from a prestigious family, descended from the famed Hippomenes and Atalanta, who had granted the family with very fit and attractive genes, as well as the leisure to study crocheting, an art at which Isabella was very adept. But the family had come on hard times and had not the money it once did. William the Bard cared not about that; he cared only that Isabella was beautiful. He asked her father for Isabella's hand in marriage, and Isabella's father, who hoped to gain some money from the marriage or at least be rid of another mouth to feed, happily agreed.

The two were wed, and on their honeymoon, Isabella spoke her first words to William the Bard: "Your butt is too big."

In answer to this, William the Bard went outside and climbed a tree. When he came back down, his butt was slimmer.

Isabella was pleased, and as a reward, she gave to William the Bard a golden apple from the family's apple tree. Having acquired his dowry, William the Bard left for a foreign land, where he would meet his second wife.

Chapter Two, in which William the Bard slays a dragon. )

Chapter Three, in which William the Bard saves a fox )

Chapter Four, in which William the Bard makes yogurt )

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